Oklahoma went into Columbia, Missouri Saturday night with the BCS No. 1 ranking in tow. Although they didn’t get to take it home with them, there’s still no shame in their loss to Missouri. There may be only a handful of teams in the country, if any that could have went in there Saturday night and came away victorious.
The atmosphere and energy in that stadium that night would have been hard for just about anyone to overcome, let alone a team loaded with as much youth as these Sooners have.
The fact that the Sooners were outplayed in all three phases of the game, and still had a chance to pull it out speaks volumes about what’s in store for this team, and the rest of the country over the next couple years.
Oklahoma was also paid the ultimate compliment after the game when Missouri fans stormed the field and carried their goalposts out of the stadium. There were no championships won this night, but to Missouri fans it sure had to feel like it.
The reason the rest of the nation should take notice is that Oklahoma is currently playing 29 freshman or sophomores in their two deep. Many of them playing key roles, have already made some big plays in some pretty big games. When Scout, Rivals and ESPN re-rank their 2010 recruiting classes after the season, there will be little debate as to who will hold that top spot.
True freshmen Kenny Stills, Tony Jefferson and Trey Millard have started since day one. Aaron Colvin, Corey Nelson, Daniel Noble, Roy Finch, Brennan Clay and Trey Franks are more true freshman who although aren’t starting yet, have all played significant roles for the Sooners this season. Oklahoma’s roster is loaded with youth, and according to the three major recruiting sites, the Sooners look to reel in yet another top five class in 2011.
While the Sooners will be losing Demarco Murray to Sunday football, the heir apparent has Sooner fans licking their chops. Roy Finch and Brennan Clay haven’t done anything but shown flashes of brilliance in the spot duty they’ve been given so far, and the thought of them playing a more significant role has Sooner fans excited.
There’s also no guarantee that the Sooners will be losing Ryan Broyles or Travis Lewis to early departures for the NFL either. The uncertainty that there will be a 2011 NFL season may be enough reason for these two to return to Norman for one more year, and a legitimate shot at a National Championship.
The rest of the nation can rest easy in 2010. The most these Sooners will compete for this season will be yet another conference title, which is more probable than possible. They won’t be making any appearances in any National Championship game this season, but they will come into the 2011 season as the team to beat. A role the Sooners are used to and don’t mind embracing.